OK so I know I said my DIY All-purpose cleaner was easy to make. However, in comparison this natural orange kitchen cleaner is like close your eyes, stand on one leg and have one arm tied behind your back and still make it kind of easy. This cleaner is my go-to when we are sick or there is a particularly grungy mess to clean up. Oh, and did I mention it only has two ingredients? Winning!!!! (ok that was lame and I apologize, but seriously this is pretty awesome.
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I am on a quest to do my best to get as many chemicals and plastics out of my house. Given today’s society this is not the easiest of tasks, but yet I persevere. I’m focusing on one small change at a time, which over the long haul will add up. I even made my own reusable shopping bag and I plan to make some DIY fruit and veggie bags.
So the first thing you are going to need is some good old vinegar. I like to use this cleaning vinegar with is 2x as strong as regular vinegar. This is old-time cleaning like your grandma used to use. There are so many things that made our grandparents and great-grandparents so damn self-sufficient. Yet in this digital age, we think we are so much more advanced. Honestly, in terms of being able to take care of ourselves, we certainly are not! I am trying to bring many of those vintage skills back into my daily life.
Anyway, back to the vinegar. If you can’t get cleaning vinegar don’t fret, regular vinegar will work too. Why vinegar? Well, that’s because vinegar works well against ‘gram-negative’ bacteria This includes such nasties as salmonella and E. coli. So how does plain old vinegar accomplish this? The acetic acid kills the cells by causing a release of protons when it crosses the cells membrane.
Once we have our vinegar then we only need one more ingredient and that is orange peels. Before I eat oranges I wash them with dish soap and rinse them off. Then I peel them and store the peels in this gorgeous blue wide mouth mason jar with a reusable leakproof lid in the refrigerator until the jar is jam-packed.
The oranges were delicious by the way! I packed all those peels in there, right up to the brim. Then all you need to do is fill the jar to the top with the cleaning vinegar and pop it in a dark cupboard.
You may want to check on it in a day or two as the liquid level can drop as it is absorbed into the orange peels. Mine dropped about an inch!
I just topped it back up with the cleaning vinegar and popped it back into the cupboard. It needs to sit for about 2 weeks. You can leave it for up to a month but I wouldn’t suggest leaving it any longer than that.
I am pretty obsessed with these leak-proof wide mouth mason jar lids. I use them all the time when I take my lunches to work (in mason jars). So I always have them on hand.
Then all you have to do is wait…
Is the waiting over?
Please say it’s over! I really hate waiting…
Good then let’s move on. Get the jar out of its dark abode and grab yourself a spray bottle. I really liked this set of 4 glass spray bottles (no plastic bottle for this girl).
When you take the lid off you smell the oranges straight away. There is still a bit of vinegar smell but the orange oil really does help to cut the vinegar smell. But the orange peels were not just in the for their pretty colour and smell! Orange oil is reputed to have some antimicrobial properties.
Grab a funnel and put it in your bottle. You may be tempted to start pouring the liquid into the funnel but this could lead to a HUGE mess. I use a sieve perched on top of the funnel (just don’t let go or it could all topple).
Once you have this all precariously perched on top of each other, slowly start to pour the liquid and peels into the sieve. Once all the liquid seems to have slowed or stopped you can GENTLY press down on the peels and more will be released.
It’s amazing how the colour of the vinegar changed so much as the orange oils seeped out into it! From the 32oz wide mouth mason jar, I was able to get almost a full 16oz spray bottle. The peels take up quite a bit of space in the mason jar but they are well worth it!
I just love making my own cleaning products! I have three levels of cleaning power in my personal arsenal. On the lower end I have my all-purpose cleaner, then in the middle is this natural orange cleaner and on the top end is my natural disinfectant (the big boy of the bunch).
Have you made any other types of cleaning products for your home?